Happy New Year (2022)!

Happy New Year to all Hampton Roads ASPA members.

A few exciting announcements and calls for participation.

(1)   We invite you to submit proposals for the Annual Research Symposium. The Symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, March 24th from 9.45 am to 1.15 pm. This year’s theme is “Examining Public Service in the Wake of COVID-19: Challenges, Successes, and Future Implications.” The symposium explores how public, private, and non-profit agencies addressed a myriad of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the evolving needs and expectations of communities, agencies, personnel, and programs. Please consider submitting proposals for Panel Presentations and Roundtable Discussion. Submissions are due January 24th. See the call for proposals (PDF).

(2)    Plan to join us for our next webinar focused on Sustainability on January 20 from 12-1.00 pm. More information will be shared soon via e-mail and on the HR ASPA website.   

(3)    For the April 2022 HR ASPA event, we would like to focus on issues or topics of interest to student members of the chapter or public service students in general. We want this event to be student-focused and useful to students. Please use this form to share ideas for the event: https://forms.gle/JgRz4EYbgS811xHE8

(4)    Save the Date for the annual Awards Ceremony on May 19, 2022. Calls for nominations will be shared soon. Remember to check the HR ASPA website for updates (https://aspahr.org/). 

Did you miss the Fall 2021 webinars? Check out the Hampton Roads ASPA webinar playlist on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/cAQw4KZh2es.     

January 2021 Webinar

The Future of Public Service: Questions from Students

The webinar was held on Thursday, January 21, 2021 – Noon – 1pm Eastern.

“That’s when America soars, when we look out for one another and we take care of each other, when we root for one another’s success, when we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us and try to build something better for generations to come, that’s why we do what we do. That’s the whole point of public service.” – Barack Obama

In November 2020, we asked students – the next generation of public service leaders –  what issues, questions, or concerns they have regarding responsive public service of the future. As 2021 dawns, we attempt to address their issues, questions, and concerns.

The webinar’s three panelists discussed three themes that are top of mind for our students and future public service leaders:

  • Citizen engagement on critical public service issues
  • Social equity and environmental justice
  • Workforce of the future


  • Dr. Kenneth Chandler, Deputy City Manager, City of Virginia Beach
  • Mrs. Latara Rouse, Communications Manager, James City County
  • Mr. Zach Nissen, Community Outreach Coordinator, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore

HR ASPA 2020-2021 – Save the Dates!

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (HR ASPA) is moving virtual for our quarterly events in 2020-2021. These will be free Zoom webinars available to anyone interested in public service — anyone interested in the challenges and opportunities of providing effective, efficient public services to a diverse community in a dynamic environment.  

We will be sharing registration information and more detail on each event as it nears, but we wanted to reach out and share this brief glimpse into our schedule so you might “Save the Dates” in your calendar.

We look forward to your participation. If you have any questions, please contact Thomas.Poulin@Capella.edu.

HR ASPA: 2020-2021 Schedule of Events

Responsive Public Service: Social Equity
September 17, 2020 (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

Our first webinar of the year brings in a diverse group of panelists exploring how to successfully approach social equity challenges in the public sector. Public administrators should be actively pursuing social equity, helping to develop an environment of fairness, justice, and equality for everyone in our communities. We will hear from Brandi Blessett (Associate Professor and MPA Program Director for the University of Cincinnati), Mary E. Guy and Sean A. McCandless (editors of Achieving Social Equity: From Problems to Solutions), and Jim Reddick (Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response, City of Norfolk, VA). 

Responsive Public Service: Local Government Leadership and Management Resiliency Challenges, Lessons and Opportunities In the COVID-19 Era: Staying the Course Under Duress
November 19, 2020 (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented public administrators with unprecedented stress and uncertainty given the toxic mixture of increased service demands juxtaposed with diminishing financial resources. This highly variable and uncertain public health crisis with its sweeping economic political, and cultural effects also presents a unique opportunity to promote innovative and creative solutions that will benefit public administration long after the pandemic ends. The Webinar will feature three experienced local government administrators reflecting on their past and present experiences in providing quality services under duress and their views on the potential positive outcomes of the crisis. The panelists will discuss both leadership and management practices as well as personal coping strategies to remain steady under pressure.

Responsive Public Service: The Future of Public Service: Student Perspectives
January 21, 2021, (noon-1 pm [Eastern])

Public service is a dynamic, broad discipline, seeking to provide a higher quality of life for the communities we serve. This requires public administrators continually assess and reassess the needs and expectations of the public, fine-tuning goals, processes, and practices to best meet these evolving needs and expectations. In this webinar, the focus will be on student perspectives. Students of public administration are the future of the discipline, and their insights on where we are going and how we should get there should be of interest to us all. Whether it is an exploration of how the COVID-19 pandemic might fundamentally alter the practice of public administration, or how changes in our definitions of vulnerable populations evolve, we need to reassess what public service means, as well as what it might take to be an effective public administrator in the future. 

Responsive Public Service: Research Symposium
March 18, 2021 (9:30 am – noon)

Each year, HR ASPA hosts a research symposium tied to our annual program theme, which this year is “Response Public Service.” The symposium theme this year might encompass such topics as responsive service for the pandemic, social equity, public sector accountability, government finance reform, intergovernmental relations, collaboration, immigration policy, or the emergent challenges and opportunities in public service. We will be seeking proposals from practitioners, academics, and students seeking to develop either original research or a professional presentation, creating a platform for discussing current issues in a manner which bridges the world of practice and theory. It promises to be an exciting time. 

Currently, we are planning on two sessions, the first from 10:00-10:50 am and the second from 11:00-11:50 am).  Each session panel will include 3-4 speakers, with the number of panels each session dependent upon the number of accepted proposals. Further information on this will be shared at a later date. 

Responsive Public Service: Annual Awards 
May 20, 2021 (To be determined)

Traditionally, this event has been a luncheon with a guest speaker. If circumstances change for the better, we will continue with that tradition in 2021. However, if concerns with the pandemic remain high at that time, we might have a guest speaker via a Zoom meeting. Further information on this will be shared at a later time.

ASPA Hampton Roads 2020 Awards

The Hampton Roads (Virginia) Chapter of ASPA has recognized an outstanding practitioner, a distinguished scholar, and a public administration student during the 2020 program year.

Bill Burket, Director, Marine Incident Response Team/Emergency Operations, Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk, VA

  • The JULIAN F. HIRST AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE is awarded to a Hampton Roads public administrator with a distinguished record of public service. The award is named after Julian F. Hirst, who served as City Manager of Norfolk from 1975 until retirement in 1985. His role as Executive Director of the Virginia Municipal League further enriched his public administration career.

Mr. Burket was recognized for his dedication to increasing port safety in the Port of Virginia. Beginning in 1984, he began to develop a collaborative approach to preparing for and responding to maritime emergencies in Hampton Roads, one of the largest commercial ports on the East Coast. Incrementally building relationships and garnering support from many organizations, his efforts directly contributed to the groundswell development of the Virginia Port Authority’s Marine Incident Response Team, which now includes nearly a score of participating local, state, and federal agencies, as well as private sector organizations. His long-term passion and persistence have contributed to increased safety in the port, supporting both a higher quality of life for the region’s communities, as well as a more robust economic engine for the region.

Mary B. Manjikian, Professor, Associate Dean, Robertson School of Government, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

  • The DR. WOLFGANG PINDUR AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE IN ACADEMIA AND PRACTICE is awarded to a Hampton Roads academic, recognizing outstanding service in the area of public administration education. The award honors Dr. Wolfgang Pindur, an academic whose lifelong efforts sought to bridge the worlds of the academic and the practitioner, seeking to continuously increase the effectiveness and efficiency of public services.

Dr. Manjikian was recognized for a distinguished academic career, which continues through today. She has published five scholarly books on topics such as cyber-security and international affairs, written five book chapters, and published seven scholarly articles. Dr. Manjikian is a scholar-practitioner, with distinguished public service supporting her scholarly pursuits, 

including service as a Foreign Service Officer in Russia and Bulgaria, and as the Director of the International Programs for the Center for Excellence in Education. Her influence as a scholar and her quality as a faculty member is validated by her receipt of prestigious external awards and positions including the Regent’s Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Short Term Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Nagel Institute Professional Development Program on Religion in China, and a Fulbright Research Scholar award at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, Great Britain.

Her distinguished and lengthy service seeking to bridge the gap between academia and practice, her commitment to democratic ideals, and her passion for seeking to develop and sustain high-levels of responsive public service are to be commended.

Taiwo Oguntuyo, Doctoral Candidate, Public Administration and Policy, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

  • The Hampton Roads ASPA Chapter Student Scholarship recognizes the potential for individual excellence in public service through scholarship and practice.

Ms. Oguntuyo is a Graduate Research Assistant at Old Dominion University, and currently serves as the Secretary to the Hampton Roads Chapter of ASPA. Her previous professional experience includes that of Director of Operation for the Feed the Gifted Nonprofit Foundation (OFTG), Nigeria, and as a Research Assistant engaging in Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Sustainability of Chesapeake Bay Shorescapes. She has been an active, volunteer participant in university and community activities. She is currently interested in diversity, responsive governance, and environmental justice. We wish her the best of fortune in her academic and professional endeavors.

November Presentation and Luncheon

Our guest speaker for the November luncheon was Latiesha D. Handie, Executive Director of the Hampton Diversity College. “The Hampton Diversity College (HDC) is a multi-level and interactive educational program that concentrates on increasing knowledge on the value of diversity, unity, and inclusion in contemporary workplaces and in our community.” The HDC is an exciting municipal program, working actively with the community, public agencies, and the public sector. Since its inception, the HDC has achieved numerous national accolades for innovations and diversity in local government.

September Luncheon and Presentation

Our September speaker was Paula Bazemore from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC; https://inclusiveva.org/). Their mission is “Addressing prejudices, in all forms, to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust.” The VCIC works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success by addressing prejudices, in all forms, in order to improve academic achievement, increase workplace productivity, and enhance local trust. Through workshops, retreats, and customized programs that raise knowledge, motivation, and skills, VCIC develops leaders who work together to achieve success throughout the Commonwealth.

Ms. Bazemore is the Hampton Roads Program Manager at VCIC. In her role, she serves as the link between VCIC and community partners through designing, facilitating, and convening diversity and inclusion workshops.

The luncheon was held on September 19th from 11:30-1:00 at the Quality Suites Lake Wright, 1521 Premium Outlets, Norfolk, VA 23502.

HR ASPA Chapter Election Results

Thank you all for your participation in our FY 2018-19 program year. The results of our chapter election have been finalized and we are pleased to announce the winners of the FY 2019-20 election:

President: Thomas Poulin
Student Representative: Brian Ronan
Council Members: Wie Yusuf, Gary Roberts, Stanley Skinner, and Jerry Hoddinott

Just as a reminder, we have several returning council members: Elijah Agyapong, Kelly Doolan, Celeste Greene, and Jianchong Luo.

Congratulations to each of you and we look forward to our FY 2019-20 program year.